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Judge orders Idaho officials to accept transgender requests to change sex on birth certificates

Idaho state officials must begin accepting changes to the sex listed on transgender people's birth certificates by April 6. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

Jana J. Pruet

A federal court ruled earlier this week that state officials in Idaho “must begin accepting applications made by transgender people to change the sex listed on their birth certificates on or before April 6,” NBC News reported.

U.S. Magistrate Candy Dale said the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare was in violation of the U.S. Constitution by banning transgenders from changing their birth sex on the documents, according to the Associated Press.

“A rule providing an avenue to obtain a birth certificate with a listed sex that aligns with an individual’s gender identity promotes the health, well-being and safety of transgender people without impacting the rights of others.,” Dale said.

The decision followed a lawsuit filed last year by Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ legal group, on behalf of two transgender women who claimed they were harassed and discriminated against when they tried to change the gender on their identity documents.

Idaho “previously had a policy of categorically refusing to correct the gender markers of transgender people and the court unequivocally said that is unconstitutional,” said Senior Attorney Peter Renn, who worked on the case.

One of the defendants, who was only identified by the initials F.V., said she was called  “tranny” and “faggot” when she showed her birth certificate at the social security office.

“I am thrilled and proud that my own state will be updating their policies, even though it required a court order to do so,” F.V.  said in a statement issued by Lambda Legal.

The other defendant, Dani Martin, said she had to insist on being treated as a woman at the Department of Motor Vehicles when she showed a birth certificate that didn’t match her gender identity.

What are the laws in the other states?

Ohio, Tennessee, and Kansas are the remaining states that do not allow people to change their gender on birth certificates.

All other states, including the District of Columbia, allow such changes.